Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US firm begins to market Cambodia-based surrogacy service




US firm begins to market Cambodia-based surrogacy service

A screenshot taken yesterday from the Surrogacy Cambodia website that shows a catalogue of women listed as surrogate mothers. Photo supplied
A screenshot taken yesterday from the Surrogacy Cambodia website that shows a catalogue of women listed as surrogate mothers. Photo supplied

US firm begins to market Cambodia-based surrogacy service

A US-based commercial surrogacy agency, Surrogacy Cambodia, has begun marketing to US citizens “personalised services” – including surrogacy and gender selection – to be carried out at a high-end IVF clinic in the Kingdom.

And while local IVF clinics continue to deny offering surrogacy services – which remain in a legal grey area – the links between the proliferating online surrogacy agencies and the brick-and- mortar clinics are becoming increasingly clear.

“Surrogacy Cambodia’s customized packages in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), and matching services for surrogate mothers, egg donors and private sperm donors, are designed to give couples a wider scope of options in having children,” the Orange County, California, firm said in a press release on Saturday.

On its website, the agency markets gender selection and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services to heterosexual couples as well as surrogacy services to gay couples and IVF to lesbians.

The website also features photos of egg donors, more than 50 available surrogate mothers and images of a villa where the surrogate mothers stay during their pregnancy.

Surrogacy Cambodia did not respond to requests for additional information yesterday.

However, on its website, it claims to have successfully impregnated 60 surrogate mothers in Cambodia between November 2015 and April this year.

The Cambodian surrogacy industry – which has rapidly expanded after foreign surrogacy was banned or restricted in India, Thailand and Nepal last year – has remained shrouded in secrecy amid fears that publicity could force the government to ban the practice.

Read more: As surrogacy industry expands, legal and ethical issues mulled

The Ministry of Interior said in 2014 that commercial surrogacy was illegal, however, the practice has remained in a legal grey area as the government develops specific IVF and surrogacy laws.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng yesterday asked for a formal letter to be submitted before answering questions on the issue. He said he had not received a letter the Post submitted to the Ministry of Health previously.

More than a dozen agencies now have websites advertising surrogacy services in Cambodia, with each pregnancy costing upwards of $30,000; however, none approached by the Post have been willing to speak openly about their businesses.

Likewise, none of the four domestic fertility clinics able to provide the procedures necessary will openly admit to providing IVF for surrogacy.

However, on the Surrogacy Cambodia Facebook page it claims to have an “exclusive joint partnership with First Fertily [sic] Phnom Penh (FFPP) Clinic in Phnom Penh”, a high-end Hong Kong-owned clinic based in the Vattanac Tower.

On its website, the agency claims to make use of the services of two of First Fertility’s specialists Dr Sovannaroth Ty and Dr Du Xiaoping. The site also features photos of the clinic.

When asked if First Fertility had a commercial relationship with Surrogacy Cambodia, a receptionist for First Fertility, who refused to give her name, yesterday said the clinic only had a partner clinic in Thailand and focused on IVF.

“However, there is no surrogacy service and we don’t offer surrogacy service,” she said. “In case a customer chooses to do surrogacy, maybe we can provide that service,” she added, before hanging up.

When asked via email whether any US citizens had applied for citizenship for surrogate children born in Cambodia, spokesman Courtney Woods said the US Embassy did not release that kind of information.

Woods said the State Department offered information for US citizens considering assisted reproductive technology at its website but had no specific information for Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Four more UN troops infected by Covid virus

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Seniority payments postponed

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced on Monday the postponement of seniority payments for workers prior to 2019 and new seniority payments for workers in 2020, opting to implement them next year instead. The ministry also asked more than 25,000 workers in the garment and tourism

  • Garment sector requests EU to postpone EBA withdrawal

    Representatives of apparel, footwear and travel goods producers and the EU business community in the Kingdom on Tuesday requested the European Commission (EC) to postpone its withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme for 12 months. The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC),

  • Something about Cambodian Internet service provider

    Phnom Penh – These days, almost every house has Wi-Fi to ensure internet connectivity since it is crucial for people to communicate and work – particularly for those who do business online. During the Coronavirus pandemic, Wi-Fi has become even more important as it is necessary for

  • Regions prepare to spread wings again

    As cases of Covid-19 begin to taper, it is natural that business travellers in the Asia-Pacific will want to fly again. For a region where trade anchors prosperity, this is as essential as reopening schools, shops and offices. Singapore has started talks with China, Malaysia,